Aerial Ropeways of Nepal
Nepal offers extreme geographical
conditions to test different transport
systems. It has ranges of high
mountains occupying much of the
country and flat land areas known as
Rural access is a major problem in
Nepal. Settlements are scattered with
few densely populated areas, which
combined with the harsh terrain and
unfavourable weather conditions,
makes linking homes to established
roads very difficult.
Ropeway transport has been in use in Nepal for many years. In their most basic form, they
consist of a single span made with fibre rope simply anchored at each end. The first major
ropeway in Nepal installed in the 1920s followed by an improved and extended system in
1964. Although there has been some stagnation in the development of large-scale
ropeways, small-scale systems are economically feasible in Nepal.
The ITDG Nepal Transport Programme
The ITDG Transport programme started in 1988 and is working on developing river crossing
ropeway bridges known as tuins, ropeway transport for mountainous regions and in the flat
regions of the country there is an emphasis is on bicycle technologies. ITDG has also been
instrumental in setting up a National Forum for Rural Transport and Development, under the
International Forum for Rural Transport and Development (IFRTD) umbrella.
Wire Bridges (Tuin) are an
indigenous technology and
one of the most common
structures for river crossing in
the hilly region of rural Nepal.
There are more than 6000
rivers in Nepal and most of the
rivers have no means of
crossing. Because of that,
many people have lost their
life during monsoon
(attempting to cross). There
are more than 15 tuin in
operation along the Trisuli
river, on average nearly 50
households are using each
tuin which amounts to more
than 300 people using each
Figure 2: Tuin is the main means of river crossing for
the people of Kalleri Village, Dhading
Photo: U. Shrestha
Figure 1: Rural Nepal